Update March 2022: This page is quite out of date, as I’ve been focusing on other projects. For the latest in my own progress, see my YouTube channel. As for everything else, I hope to one day expand and update this page, but for now, proceed with the disclaimer that it is out of date and not anywhere close to comprehensive.
If you’re trying to learn more about functional/epigenetic orthodontics and orthotropics, including topics like palate expansion, maxilla advancement/facial growth, and proper tongue posture…you’re in the right place!
This page will be an ongoing effort to compile and organize information on these topics. Because a functional approach to orthodontics and dentistry is still relatively “fringe,” especially in adults, it can be difficult to wade through the various forum threads and Youtube videos and anecdotes and websites (sketchy or otherwise) that are out there, and impossible to know what information to trust. I hope that by putting all the information in one place, it’ll make it easier for you to navigate and learn so you can draw your own conclusions.
Important: I’m no authority on these topics, and have no dental/orthodontic/medical training, so nothing on this website should be taken as medical advice. Also, the inclusion of something on this page does not mean I like it, have experience with it, or otherwise endorse it – I’m just putting it all out there for you guys to explore.
So, to that end…if you know of any good resources that I’m missing, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it! This is definitely still a work in progress, and I expect to add many more links and tidbits over the coming months.
These are pages I’ve put together as guides for specific functional orthodontic/orthotropic topics. I’d like to reiterate that I am NOT trained as a dentist or orthodontist, and am not an authority on these topics.
My goal is simply to make it easier to navigate other people’s thoughts/opinions, present information in a thorough and unbiased way, and promote a productive dialogue by offering theories or raising questions. All these pages will be continually updated as necessary!
- Everything You Need to Know about AGGA (Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance)
- Everything You Need to Know About Mewing (but not really; lots of other people on the internet have done a FAR more thorough job than I have! I hope to flesh this page out with more links/resources eventually.)
The following posts document my own experience with palate expansion and facepulling as an adult (24 years old when I began in early 2018). Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster.
- Adult Palate Expansion Diary: Introduction
- Adult Palate Expansion Diary #1
- Adult Palate Expansion Diary #2
- APE Diary #3: Gaps Achieved!
- APE Diary #4: Discovering Dr. Brad Lockhart
- APE Diary #5: My Consult with Dr. Brad Lockhart
- The DNA Appliance Has Arrived! (APE Diary #6)
- 5-Month Palate Expansion Progress Photos
- Palate Expansion Update: Concerning CBCT Scan Results
- A Non-Update Update
- Why I Decided to Try AGGA (plus some lingering concerns)
- 9-month AGGA update
- Video: AGGA update, pandemic edition
- Review: The Crane Reverse-Pull Headgear
- Video: Why I chose AGGA over mewing alone
- Video: Controlled-arch braces day 2 report – lisp city
- Video: Is AGGA dangerous? My thoughts on tooth instability and bone loss
- AGGA Before & After – 10mm Expansion
- Controlled Arch Braces: 5 Month Update
- Controlled arch braces progress + timeline update
- AGGA/Controlled Arch Braces Progress Update (9 months in braces, 22 months total)
- AGGA/Controlled Arch Braces Progress Update (12 months in braces, 25 months total)
- AGGA/Controlled Arch Braces Progress Update (13 months in braces, 26 months total)
- CBCT Results: An Update on Implants [AGGA/CAB Update]
- Quitting Controlled-Arch Braces [AGGA 2.5-year update]
These are all personal blogs (like this one!) of others who have documented their journeys and experiments (in no particular order).
Probably one of the most well-known characters in the palate expansion realm, first for his all-in praise of the Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance (AGGA) (which he undertook to improve his neck posture and help with chronic migraines), then for his dramatic about-face on the topic, as he’s now probably the most outspoken AGGA detractor. His most recent experiments have been with MSE. He documented all his experiences very thoroughly, including his failed attempt (very similar to mine!) at expansion with a more traditional three-way acrylic expander, so this is a great resource.
The OG. Or at least, the first resource I came across when I started learning about all this stuff several years ago. Last I checked, you had to be a paid member to access much of his content, but he still had some stuff up for free.
This looks like a relatively new blog by someone who has improved their health through posture/orthodontic treatments. I’ll be interested to see what they post in the coming months!
Ry’s Dental Journey
Experience with the Vivos DNA Appliance, reverse-pull headgear, etc.
Facial Growth Orthodontics with Daniel
Not really a personal blog, but a lengthy patient testimonial/blog on the website of a practitioner in Missouri. Great documentation of his experience with AGGA though!
Scott Gets Mouthy
Using the Vivos DNA Appliance, primarily to treat sleep apnea.
Results with the DNA Appliance – last post was in 2015, but really impressive B&A photos!
My Experience with the DNA Appliance (not mine; that’s just the title of the blog!)
Rick’s experience with the DNA; last post was in 2013
Health Matters to Me
Experience with the Homeoblock.
Michael’s (38 yo) experience using upper and lower “bicuspid opener” expanders to reverse extraction/retraction orthodontics.
Kevin’s experience using Homeoblock and NCR to solve health problems from extraction/retraction orthodontics (plus a bunch of other unrelated stuff, so I linked to the “Orthodontics” category instead of the blog home page).
Some of these look extra sketchy, and everyone knows you can’t trust people on internet forums, but nonetheless, I’ve learned some very helpful things from these sites. (Again, in no particular order.)
Break the Matrix
This is a forum dedicated to discussing NCR, facepulling, and similar topics. Mike Mew and Ian Hedley even make appearances in some threads!
The Great Work
From what I can gather, this is sort of part personal blog, part forum, part informational website.
A subreddit dedicated to discussing mewing and other topics in orthotropics.
I think this is Mike Mew’s website, or at least one he’s affiliated with.
Anonymous facepuller’s website.
- The Craniofacial Action Group (Mike Mew’s group)
- TMJ/TMD/CMD/OSA Physiologic Discussion Group (an LVI affiliated group)
- Myofunctional Orthodontics
This is a list of devices I’ve heard of being used for palate expansion in adults. Where possible, I’ve linked to other websites/resources where you can learn more about them, or at least read about others’ experience using them.
- AGGA (Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance)
- Vivos DNA Appliance
- Meridian Appliance (knockoff DNA appliance; this is what I used)
- MARPE (micro-implant assisted rapid palatal expander)
- ALF (here’s a pretty big thread about ALF on a random forum)
- Damon braces
- basic removable lateral acrylic expander (like what I started with)
- figure-8 cemented expander
- “bicuspid opener” (per this blog)
Face Pulling (non-surgical maxillary advancement)
This is a list of devices/techniques I’ve heard of being used for non-surgical maxillary advancement/”face pulling” in adults.
- facemask (standard reverse-pull headgear; my experience here)
- the Crane
- DIY hockey helmet approach
- AGGA (this fits in both categories, because it supposedly expands the maxilla forward by putting pressure on a specific spot in the upper palate)
- mouthguard & shoelace method (not kidding – see Walrus’ posts on this forum page)
- Mew Vector (Mike Mew’s custom headgear; youtube video here)
- Facemax (superseded by CROME/CROM-face)
Other Related Therapies
Pretty much just that. Other related therapies that don’t fit the above categories, but that I’ve seen people use or recommend to achieve some of the same goals.
- NCR (Neurocranial Restructuring; basically inflating a balloon deep inside your nasal cavity to prompt beneficial remodeling of the cranial bones)
- Starecta (uses an oral appliance to improve whole-body posture)
Hi Alyssa, great post. I was wondering if maybe you would be interested in linking to my well-sourced, detailed guide (https://jawlineexercises.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-mewing/) on proper tongue posture (i.e. ‘mewing’) to your post? I think it would really help your readers.
Just a suggestion, thanks for writing this!
Alyssa Luck says
Hey Xavier! Sweet, yes, that looks like an awesome guide! Will add it to the list of links now. Thanks!!
Awesome, thanks! 🙂
Hey Alyssa, great blog about orthodontics /orthotropics. This is a subject i’m also intersted in. Mainly because I have a bite that is a little off and is causing tmj problems, and I just want to get rid of jaw sores ( I hope I finally dare to get it finally fixed).On the other hand, the effects of a better functioning airway sytem in the face is per definition interesting. I did al lot of research and your blog gave me some new insights. Althought, pesronally I suppose Marpe treatments have the biggest change of succes in adult treatment, I have seen some good treatments of adult expansion online. I am sory to hear you are on your third round of orthodontics and still haven’t reached much process. But, I think you should have more trust in orthodontics in general, then you have now. I wish you best of luck in further search to a healthy bite!
Alyssa Luck says
Thanks Sebastian! It’s definitely a work in progress. Where have you found most of your info so far while exploring this topic?
Yes, I agree that MARPE does seem promising for adults, and there’s actually published research on it, which is refreshing. However, from what I’ve seen (and correct me if I’m wrong!), they only do lateral expansion that way – not forward expansion. So I imagine MARPE would be great for someone who primarily needs more lateral space! Thanks for the well wishes 🙂
There seems to occur only minor anterposterior expansion(so both forward and backwards) with rapid palatal expansion from what I’ve read. That is the type of expansion also used in marpe. Thats the reason its sometimes combined with a facemas in order to create more forward expansion.
Just read your article about AGGA, that looks in that case more promising. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find public research on that device.
Most info I found is from reasearchgate, ncbi, various blogs/vlogs and forums.
If possible, please update us with your progress for 2020.
By the way, I’m sure you know that Ronald Ead has since abandoned and then denounced his AGGA treatment to the dismay of many pro-AGGAists and is doing MSE which is a version of MARPE [https://www.greatlakesdentaltech.com/mse-maxillary-skeletal-expander.html].
Any thoughts on this?
Alyssa Luck says
Hi Mark – I’ve published several posts and videos on my progress in 2020! You should see them as the most recent posts on my home page, as well as linked on this page.
And yes, I am aware! He actually reached out to me personally to caution me against continuing with AGGA/CAB. My thoughts on that are fairly well summed up in my video “Is AGGA dangerous?”, as well as comments I’ve left on that video and recent blog posts. But in short – AGGA is not without risks, and it’s certainly not a holy grail miracle treatment that’s a good choice for everyone (or even most people), but Ron’s decision and experience has not changed my plans.
Hi Alyssa! Thank you for the wonderful post! Have you considered surgery? What are the reasons you prefer other methods over surgery?
Alyssa Luck says
Hi Simge! To be honest, I haven’t really considered surgery. I don’t know too much about it, so I can’t even say it was an extremely informed decision, but in general – I would be worried about the potential for serious complications/bad outcomes (however small that risk may be). I guess I also just prefer the idea of guiding/encouraging natural growth vs. forcing a structure that the body doesn’t get a say in, partially because I think it’s extremely important to improve function (i.e. tongue and other face muscle habits) and not just impose a structure that isn’t supported by the musculature. All that to say – I’m not necessarily opposed to surgery on principle, but it isn’t something I would consider for myself.